Browns’ Edwards returns to practice

Browns wideout Braylon Edwards practiced for the first time in training came on Wednesday, after missing six practices with an undisclosed injury.

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Edwards had missed the first four days and six practices because of an undisclosed injury, believed to be on an ankle, that occurred off the field prior to the June minicamp.

Edwards reported to camp a day late and then failed to pass the team’s physical. By appearing on the field this morning, it means the club’s medical staff cleared Edwards to practice.

If you’re Edwards, you have to be concerned with the way your contract year has started off. As the article notes, he reported to training camp late after head coach Eric Mangini told him to be there a couple days earlier so that he could take a physical. Then of course he fails his physical, yet nobody knows what the injury was. (Some speculate that he hurt his ankle playing basketball, while others believe he faked the injury in some kind of unique holdout attempt.)

If Edwards wants someone to pay him like a No. 1 receiver (whether it’s the Browns or another team), then he better start making a better impression. (Catching the ball would help too.)

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Edwards reports to camp late, fails physical

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that Browns’ receiver Braylon Edwards reported to training camp a day late and when he did arrive, failed a team physical.

Because Edwards missed practice time at the team’s mandatory minicamp in June with an undisclosed injury, he was notified by coach Eric Mangini to report to training camp on Monday — four days earlier than non-injured veterans.

When Edwards did not show up, the Browns placed him on the “reserve/did not report” list. Edwards could be fined as much as $17,000 for reporting one day late. Edwards arrived on Tuesday and after failing his physical was transferred to the “active/non-football injury” list.

A couple of months ago when Edwards showed up for OTAs it appeared that he and the Browns were moving in the right direction, at least in terms of him playing out the final year of his contract in Cleveland. Not that this news means that he’ll get traded now, but this certainly isn’t something that the Browns want to deal with a couple days before training camp opens.

I don’t understand why Edwards would report to camp on Tuesday knowing that his coach wanted him there on Monday. One could suggest that he’s rebelling after the Browns tried to trade him this past offseason but again, he showed up to OTAs and was a professional about the situation. So I wonder why he showed up late and thus, risked receiving a fine.

Browns likely to hang onto Edwards

Remember the gazillion rumors that centered on the Browns trading receiver Braylon Edwards earlier this offseason? Well apparently the team is content on keeping Edwards on its roster this season, despite the fact that he’s entering the final year of his contract and thus could walk at the end of the year.

Despite feverishly trying to move the inconsistent former No. 3 overall pick around draft time, Cleveland received zero offers to their liking. According to a report by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Browns wanted a first round pick but teams were only offering middle-round picks and lackluster veterans.

The Giants seemed to be team that made the biggest push for Edwards, but a rumored deal involving DE/LB Mathias Kiwanuka fell through and New York eventually backed off. (The then G-Men selected North Carolina wideout Hakeem Nicks with the 29th overall pick in round one.)

In the end, whom could blame teams for not wanting to part with a first round pick for Edwards? He makes letting the ball get into his pads instead of catching it with his hands his personal mission and outside of his fluke season in ‘07, he has done nothing to merit a team giving up a first round pick for his services.

Maybe him staying in Cleveland will work out best for all parties involved. Players in a contract year always turn it up a notch and it’s not like the Browns couldn’t use another playmaker after trading tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. to the Bucs. Maybe Edwards will turn in a great season, realize that he’s a huge fan of the Great Lakes Science Center and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and decide to re-up with the Browns.

Either way, the Browns aren’t in a bad spot. If he’s still infected with the dropsies, then they can allow him to walk via free agency at the end of the year and move forward with the development of second round picks Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massqauoi. If Edwards does produce, they could make an effort to re-sign him after the season or even (gasp!) place the franchise tag on him if they deem him worthy enough.

Edwards says he wants to remain a Brown

Speaking at Cleveland’s minicamp on Friday, wideout Braylon Edwards said that he wants to remain a Brown despite several rumors that stated he wanted to be traded this offseason.

“I didn’t get excited [about the rumors],” he said. “One, they were rumors and there was nothing to hold on to. And two, I felt like if I would have left Cleveland for any reason, I would have left with a bad taste in my mouth.

“I wanted to get back to playing good football, definitely here. It’s a business and who knows what’s going to happen next year. But for me, it was just about getting back to what I know I can do and being the player the Browns drafted in ’05 and that the fans saw in ’07.”

He said the fact that Browns General Manager George Kokinis engaged in trade talks with the Giants involving him didn’t sour him.

“Obviously they didn’t get what they wanted, which means they felt highly of me to ask for a lot and it didn’t go down that way and I’m still here,” he said. “I’m happy to be here. There’s a lot of players here that I still know, some new players. I remember [rookie receiver] Brian Robiskie at 17, having him out here when he was a ballboy and now he’s one of my teammates. I think it’s going to be a fun season. I’m excited to play with these guys and play in this new system and see what happens.”

“Right now I just want to play,” he said. “I’m not trying to get into contracts or things like that. I believe that focusing on football is what we all need as a Browns organization and we’ll get back to the level we’ve been.”

It’s nice to see that Edwards finally wised up and won’t be a distraction. The bottom line is that he still has one more year left on his contract and outside of his outstanding 2007 season, he hasn’t been productive so far during his career. He doesn’t do himself any good by skipping minicamps or showing up and bitching about his contract. If he doesn’t get traded, he needs to prove to either the Browns or other teams that he’s worth ponying up for at the end of the 2009 season.

Everything he does and says from here on out plays into how big his next contract is.

Braylon Edwards reports to Browns’ minicamp

After sitting out most of April and early-May workouts, Browns’ wideout Braylon Edwards reported to minicamp on Tuesday.

Browns receiver Braylon Edwards, who’s been the subject of trade talks this offseason, participated in the Browns voluntary minicamp Tuesday, a source close to Edwards said.

Edwards, who participated in only the first few days of the Browns offseason program, has not been heard from all offseason despite the fact that Browns general manager George Kokinis admitted at the NFL Owners’ meetings in March that he had talked to the Giants about trading Edwards there.

Edwards, who’s coming off a down year, is in the last year of his contract. There have also been rumors that the Jets might be interested in trading for him. The voluntary camp runs Tuesday through Thursday, with only Thursday being open to the media.

Whether Edwards wants a new contract or wants to be traded (or both), it doesn’t benefit him to sit at home and pout. He’s much better off showing up to camp and working his ass off so either the Browns invest more money in him or trade him to a team that will. Outside of one season, it’s not like Edwards has set the NFL world ablaze with his play. So it behooves him to show that he’s committed to becoming a better player or else his next contract is going to be below market value for a supposed No. 1 receiver.

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